The Basics of Tutoring – Tutor’s Version

The basics of tutoring

Here are some insightful tips to help you maximize the effectiveness of your tutoring session. While you are of course the one managing the sessions, each and every one will be different, as no two children are alike!

  • Always prepare a variety of exercises based on the grade of the student. Thus, you’ll always be ready to suggest many different activities to reinforce the lesson.
  • Ensure the chosen location is quiet and bright. Avoid spaces where the student will be disturbed by noises or other people (e.g. other children, television, music).
  • Ensure that the student has all the necessary tools at hand: pencils, eraser, highlighter pen, sharpener, calculator, geometry set, rule, dictionary, Bescherelle guide to conjugation, loose-leaf paper.   
  • Ask that the textbooks, workbooks, school agenda and computer be set up before your arrival. If necessary, open them to the relevant pages for the work to be done.
  • Learn more about the student: What leisure activity has he/she engaged in since last session? How was his/her week at school? How did his/her exams go? Is he/she proud of himself/herself?
  • Ask the student to show you what he/she has done during the week at school (exams, exercises, projects, spelling tests).
  • Ensure a good follow-up of the methods used and work completed the student  does in your presence in order to provide rapid feedback. In other words, always be proactive; don’t wait for the student to finish the activity before checking his/her work. Remember: the sessions pass at an incredible speed!
  • Be motivating! Motivation is what stimulates and encourages the student to persevere. It helps him/her to build good self-esteem as well as a positive feeling towards his/her studies and academic success.

How to drive motivation?

  • Provide rapid feedback and sustained encouragement.
  • Be energetic and use humour regularly.
  • Always carry stickers or stamps! The younger ones as well as the teenagers like these little incentives; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Why not have them reach into your treasure chest when they are making sustained efforts? You can choose the frequency and your own terms. Children love stickers, pencils, erasers: let your imagination run wild!

Finally, remember that the success of tutoring is directly related to the privileged relationship built between the student and you. It  has been proven, time and time again that the trust, acceptance and respect a student has for his/her teacher are key to his/her academic success.